Is Teeth Whitening Safe During Pregnancy?
Dull and discolored teeth are unattractive and they often indicate that you have poor dental health. Fortunately, with teeth bleaching, you can remove the stains and brighten up your teeth. Although teeth whitening is a safe procedure, it is not recommended for pregnant women. The American Dental Association advises women to wait until after birth and nursing to get any form of cosmetic dental procedure including teeth whitening.
What is The Problem with Professional Teeth Whitening?
Professional teeth whitening involves the application of a bleaching agent (hydrogen peroxide) and activating it using laser light to hasten the process. This process is repeated a few times depending on the severity of the stains and discoloration. The teeth whitening process is not ideal for pregnant ladies for a couple of reasons:
Usually, professional teeth whitening causes teeth sensitivity because the bleaching agent penetrates the enamel and irritates the gums. Morning sickness is a common problem during pregnancy and it is believed to erode the enamel. The constant vomiting and nausea can increase acidity in the mouth that will affect the teeth, causing sensitivity. Bleaching your teeth, whether through in-office or using teeth whitening strips can worsen the sensitivity.
Pregnancy causes different changes in the body, chief among them being the hormonal change. The fluctuations of the body hormones are essential to fetal development, but they cause the gums to become tender. It also increases the risk of gingivitis and inflammation. Applying the bleaching agent to the teeth and already-inflamed gums can cause discomfort and short-term damage.
It may affect the baby
There have not been many studies done that can support or refute the claims that hydrogen peroxide is harmful to the baby. And, that is why dentists and doctors alike recommend postponing the bleaching treatment.
Can You Use At-Home Whitening Kits?
All teeth whitening products contain a certain amount of hydrogen peroxide but in varying amounts. Regardless of the level of bleaching agent, you should use the products under the supervision of the dentist. This is because some of the cosmetic at-home products like gels, mouth rinses, and toothpaste may contain higher amounts of hydrogen peroxide.
How Can You Keep Your Teeth Clean and Bright?
While you cannot whiten your teeth when pregnant, there are ways you can remove the mild stains and keep your teeth looking bright.
Getting regular dental cleaning is critical not only to your oral health but also to the appearance of the teeth. It is recommended that you visit the dentist often when pregnant to keep a check on your oral health. During your routine checkup, our dentist in Kennewick, WA will do a professional deep cleaning to remove any buildup. Although this is not a bleaching process, it can remove mild stains and leave your teeth looking bright.
It is also vital to avoid foods that can stain the teeth like coffee, tea, and soy. Using fluoride toothpaste and mouth wash can also help to strengthen your teeth and prevent decay.
Are D.I.Y Whitening Products Effective?
The verdict is out on this one as there is no strong evidence that they work. According to the American Dental Association, some of the D.I.Y products may be too abrasive for the teeth like baking soda. Although baking soda has been shown to remove mild stains from the teeth, its consistency can wear out the enamel and make it weak.
Lemon and fruits have also been suggested as natural teeth whitening, but they are not as effective. The acidity on these fruits can damage the enamel and also cause tooth sensitivity. Before you can give these D.I.Y products a try, it is vital to consult our dentist in Kennewick Family dental for more information.
What Other Problems Can You Experience?
During your pregnancy, you may experience different dental problems like excess bleeding, cavities, enamel erosion, pregnancy gum tumors (not cancerous), and gingivitis. These problems often clear out after the baby is born, but if they are a cause of concern, consult a dentist in West Richland Dentist for further assistance.
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Visit A Family Dental Center for more information on how you can keep your teeth clean and healthy when pregnant.